Melbourne Graduate School of Education - Theses

Permanent URI for this collection

Search Results

Now showing 1 - 10 of 154
  • Item
    Thumbnail Image
    Rater consistency and judgment in the direct assessment of second language writing ability within the certificates in spoken and written English
    Smith, David R ( 1998)
    The introduction of competency-based models of language and literacy education in Australia has, to a large degree, coincided with an increased emphasis on direct assessment as the most common means of evaluating second language writing ability within the Adult Migrant English Program. The key problem in directly assessing writing ability is having two or more raters arrive at a similar judgment or rating for the same piece of writing. While there is a long tradition of research on rater consistency and judgment in the holistic assessment of writing ability, similar research on the direct assessment of second language writing ability within the context of competency-based language and literacy education is almost non-existent. This study aims to determine the degree to which the performance criteria designed to assess second language writing ability within the Certificates in Spoken and Written English can ensure acceptable levels of rater consistency, and to describe the decision-making behaviours and strategies used by raters when reading for the purposes of assessment. The think-aloud verbal reports of six experienced ESL raters assessing three texts written by intermediate level adult ESL learners were transcribed and subjected to a rigorous interpretive analysis. In terms of rater consistency, analysis of raters verbal reports indicated that while there was generally a high degree of rater consistency at the overall performance or text level there was considerably tess agreement at the level of individual performance criteria. Analysis of the data revealed that raters adopted distinctive styles or approaches to reading for the purposes of assessment and that raters interpreted and applied the performance criteria statements in a range of different ways. These findings have significant implications not only for the development of competency-based assessment procedures but also for the training of raters. v11
  • Item
    Thumbnail Image
    Defining the characteristics of a good middle school teacher in an Australian setting
    Douglas, Linda Jane ( 1995)
    The purpose of this study is to. identify the characteristics of a middle school teacher that define that teacher as a good teacher in the eyes of their Australian colleagues. A model of the good middle school teacher was developed from the North American literature. This formed the basis for interviews with Australian teachers who have been identified as good middle school teachers by their school community. This has led to the establishment of a model based on the responses from the Australian teachers. The focus centred on the characteristics of the teacher but at times has included reference to curriculum and other structures within the school. The report's results reflect the Australian teacher's approval for child centred teaching but with a subject focus. The teachers feel a need for teachers to retain a passion for a subject area in order to inspire and enthuse their students, but doing this within a context of a curriculum focussed on young people and their needs. This study clearly suggests the strong link between teaching philosophy and curriculum and the need to cater towards the needs of both the staff and students in order to educate successfully.
  • Item
    Thumbnail Image
    Ethnocentricity in The school paper, 1896-1939
    Taylor, Betty Isabel ( 1985)
    This thesis explores the nature of the ethnocentric focus of the School paper from its inception in 1896 to the commencement of World War II in 1939. Although the School Paper was first published in response to an expressed government request that colonial reading material be provided to Victorian pupils, School papers from 1896 to 1907 are dominated by a powerful British influence extending to moral, economic, patriotic and military spheres. The monarchy is the imperial focus. Although proud Australian nationalism is a gradual development, there is already consciousness of a distinct, unique social and environmental milieu. The period is marked by profound respect for Britain, a sense of kinship with America and tolerance for the Arab world; 'coloured' races, including Australian Aborigines, are depicted as being inferior to whites. The years 1908 to the commencement of World War I in 1914 are marked by the strength of the Empire Movement; imperialist propaganda was actively disseminated by the School paper. There is growing awareness of Australia as native land, with its own individual identity, yet still with a filial link to Britain. The School paper. reflects the preparation of children for the coming war. America is looked on with favour and Germany is regarded with some reservation. Coloured races continue to be scorned, except for the Australian Aborigines who, at this time, are accorded a significant degree of respect and sympathy. Australian nationalism was crystallised during the war years from 1915 to 1918, and the Anzac legend became enshrined, assisted by School Paper promotion. Patriotism was both engendered and used by the School paper to raise money for the war effort. From this period there is a decline in the strength of British focus in the School Paper and a shift to imperialism. Although attitudes to white races are generally tolerant, with much forbearance towards Turkish and German enemies, there is coolness towards America, a general disregard of Australian Aborigines, and a persistence of prejudice towards other 'coloured' races. The post-war decade, 1919-1929, marks a flowering of Australian nationalism, with School Papers cultivating pride in Australian literature, art, history, and sporting heroes. Anzac Day and Armistice Day commemorative issues recount for new generations the honour that Australia achieved in war. Although the imperial theme is promoted less aggressively, Australia is still depicted as daughter of the Mother Country, and the Royal Family is regularly presented as both head and symbol of the Empire. Tolerance is extended to Europeans, Irish and Americans, but is witheld from Maoris, American Indians, Africans and Australian Aborigines. School Papers during the Depression years from 1929 to the commencement of World War II reflect a diminution of active Australian nationalism and of British martial content. Concomitantly, imperial sisterhood and internationalism are fostered. The pacifist tone of School Papers of this time sits oddly with the continued promotion of Anzac Day and Armistice Day. Contradictory School Papers messages at this time validate respect and tolerance for other races, yet show quite vicious intolerance of non-whites, including Australian Aborigines. By 1939 the School Papers demonstrate a continued pride in British ethnocentricity, superimposed on which is an Australian nationalism that waxes and wanes in intensity. There is tolerance of a broader range of races, but there remains a cruel arrogance towards the alleged inferiority of 'coloured' peoples; the School Papers was a powerful force in the transmission of these attitudes.
  • Item
    Thumbnail Image
    Student expectations of the future
    Pepper, Laele ( 1992)
    Specific aims of the study To investigate how present-day students view the future and their place in the workforce of the future. To establish whether or not students regard their present educational experiences as an adequate preparation for their future work. To investigate acceptance of unconventional futures scenarios as possible futures.
  • Item
  • Item
    Thumbnail Image
    Dichotomies and paradoxes of youth unemployment : a philosophical and comparative study
    Scherbakowa, Sweta M ( 1989)
    Youth unemployment (YU) and unemployment by choice (UBC) have been considered from four perspectives, labour market, economic aspect, education and social sciences. First the problem of YU in general and UBC in particular is outlined. For policy-makers and job-creators this information is obviously vital to avoid disappointments of predictions and results. Workaholics and UBC have totally different goals and values and choose accordingly. Then the economic perspective is considered: The economists' views and theories are analysed and comparative profiles of some OECD countries presented. Some of the other questions asked are: is there a nexus between excessive imports and unemployment and what may this indicate, and what solutions do some of the economic theorists present. This is followed by a comparative study of educational thrusts and training in various OECD countries. Again comparative profiles in various OECD countries are used in unravelling or demystifying this complex problem, which may be seen as at least partly a matter of choice of life-style. An attempt is then made to use principles from the social sciences to explain the personal, social and economic causes and effects of UBC and some recommendations are made.
  • Item
    Thumbnail Image
    Aims, men or money?. the establishment of secondary education for boys in South Australia and in the Port Phillip District of New South Wales - 1836 to 1860
    Noble, Gerald W ( 1980)
    Young children bring with them to school a certain amount of science knowledge gained from their everyday lives. What they "know", whether right or wrong, may be the result of interactions with family, television, computer programs, books, peers or visits to environmental locations, museums or science centres. In this study, children who have been at primary school for between two and three years are asked to describe their knowledge and their sources of information. The extent to which school factors are influencing their science knowledge is investigated. A survey was developed and protocols trialled before fifty-seven children aged eight and nine years at a provincial Victorian government primary school were surveyed to establish their home background and family interest in science, their own attitudes and feelings toward science and the efficacy of their science experiences at school. Interviews were carried out with nine students, selected to represent a broad range of attitudes to science, in order to gain more detailed information about their specific understandings of a number of topics within the primary school science curriculum and the sources of their information. The students' responses revealed that where they were knowledgeable about a subject they could indeed say from where they obtained their knowledge. Books were the most commonly cited source of information, followed by school, personal home experiences and family. Computers and the internet had little influence. Students who appeared to have "better" understandings quoted multiple sources of information. Positive correlations were found between enjoyment of school lessons and remembering science information, liking to watch science television or videos and remembering science information, and liking to read science books and remembering science information. Mothers were also linked to the use of science books at home, and the watching of nature TV shows at home. There are several implications for the teaching of science at early years level. Teachers need to be aware of powerful influences, from both within and outside of the classroom, which may impact on children, and which may be enlisted to help make learning more meaningful. The research indicates the importance of home background, parental interest and access to books, and notes the under utilisation of computers and lack of visits to museums and interactive science centres.
  • Item
    Thumbnail Image
    Vedic education (Gurukula) in a contemporary context : considerations for a Krishna conscious thinking curriculum
    O'Sullivan, Paul G ( 1997)
    This thesis presents the Vedic system of education (Gurukula) in a contemporary context. By means of a detailed description and analysis of the essential characteristics underlying the rationale of Vedic education, the Gurukula system is defined from within the tradition it has evolved. I examine the social dimension of Vedic education and consider the importance of a supportive culture. The organisation of society according to varna-asramadharma is described within this thesis and the original intent of its conception defined. Education is described in terms of its purposive nature, the goal being to develop consciousness. Krishna consciousness is described as a state of reality which enables the soul to identify as spiritual, and in that capacity discriminate between spirit and matter. Individuality in this analysis is defined as the constitutional position of the soul. The sanctity of the individual is maintained throughout human life by recourse to the proper use of intelligence. The Gurukula endeavours to provide a framework within which its members can develop the capacity to cultivate a level of consciousness suitable for participation in the culture represented by the Vedic world-view. I have argued a case for developing appropriate curriculum, which enhances both the culture and the process. The educational implications of teaching children to discriminate within a religious framework, while at the same time maintain their independence and power of critical thinking is a challenge. An appropriate program for providing children with the power of discrimination is considered an essential element of education in this thesis. The Philosophy for Children program established by Lipman and colleagues provides educators with a process for encouraging better thinking in the classroom. An essential element in this program is the development of "the community of inquiry". Religious education delivered according to the philosophical inquiry model is recommended in this thesis. This research specifically aims to assist the development of primary curriculum.
  • Item
    Thumbnail Image
    Museum exhibitions : the development and application of a cyclic evaluation model
    Stanton, Janeen Cynthia ( 1995)
    This thesis makes a contribution to exhibition evaluation by providing a cyclic model designed to encourage museum professionals to adopt museum exhibition evaluation within an Australian context. The rationale for the thesis is that museums rarely, if ever, undertake systematic evaluations of exhibitions or attempt to understand the nature of the visitor experience. This, it is argued, is firstly because of the lack of appropriate methodological tools and models which can be applied to the museum setting and secondly because of the poor culture of evaluation currently existing within museums. The model incorporates both front-end, formative and summative evaluation within the various stages of the process of developing an exhibition. It proposes the formulation of hypothesis about visitor behaviour and exhibition design issues which can be tested out in future exhibitions, and encourages the sharing of findings within the museum profession. It suggests that Australia should develop, through evaluation studies, its own body of knowledge about visitor behaviour as the visitor experience within an Australian context may be quite different to that in other countries. The Cyclic Evaluation Model was developed by the writer of the thesis both through her role as a facilitator of exhibitions and her study of evaluation taking place in the museum environment in western countries. One stage of the model (Summative Study) has been used to evaluate a specific museum exhibition. Only time will tell if it will be adopted by the museum professsion, and only if and when it is adopted can any assessment be made as to its effectiveness in encouraging the profession in Australia to embrace evaluation techniques.
  • Item
    Thumbnail Image
    Influences on engineering education in Australia
    Zorbas, Nicholas ( 1976)
    This thesis is concerned with the identification and examination of the various types of influences on professional engineering education in Australia. It commences with a study of what a professional person in general, and a professional engineer in particular, should be, and describes the functions and characteristics of such a person. This is followed by an examination of curriculum design, and how the curricula of professional courses are controlled by professional societies. The various influences on engineering curricula are then considered in detail in four broad categories, namely historical influences, formal influences, informal influences, and societal influences within each of these categories, various tapes of influences are identified, and their method of application, and relative effectiveness, discussed. Apart from the chapters on terminology and historical influences, which have been researched from existing publications, the content of the thesis is original, and, as far as can be ascertained, is the first attempt to examine the subject of Australian engineering education in a sociological context.